Soccer: District titles on line entering weekend’s regular season finales

HAPPY TEAM: The Bossier Bearkats celebrated after their big win Friday over St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of ARYANA GAETA)

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

The high school soccer regular season ends Jan. 30, giving local teams a week to jockey for playoff position.

Division IV No. 10 Loyola (9-10-1) is slated to host Division I No. 18 Captain Shreve (11-7-3) tonight to get some good power points and playoff-level competition. Division II No. 14 Parkway boys (12-4-1) will get both by heading to Division III No. 2 Bossier (17-2-2) in a game moved from tonight to Friday night in anticipation of heavy rain.

Both the boys’ and girls’ Division II, District 1 titles will be settled in winner-take-all games between Parkway and Caddo Magnet on Thursday. First up will be the girls as No. 9 Parkway (11-6-1) and No. 6 Caddo Magnet (14-8-0) face off at Lee Hedges with kickoff at 6 p.m. The boys’ game will follow at 7:45 when Parkway faces No. 10 Caddo Magnet (10-5-2).

In the biggest girls’ game of the week, Division I No. 4 Captain Shreve (24-1-3) is planning to host Division IV No. 2 Loyola (13-4-3) at 6 p.m. tonight at Messmer Stadium. Loyola has two other important games scheduled this week. Saturday it will host Division II No. 3 Teurlings Catholic (9-7-4) as well as a last-day matchup with Caddo Magnet on Monday.

The Division I No. 3 Byrd Lady Jackets (14-6-4) continue their tough season-ending schedule with a trip down south, first playing on Friday at Division II No. 2 Lakeshore (13-7-4) and Saturday at Division I No. 10 Southside (16-5-1).

This past Friday saw a “Clash of Titans” as Division III No. 3 St. Louis Catholic came to Bossier to face the No. 2 Bearkats, a very possible preview to a state playoff semifinal matchup.

Before the game, the Bearkats presented the visitors with a signed ball in tribute to one of their teammates who passed away earlier this season.

The crowd was large, including the Bossier cheerleaders and band in the stands who kept the crowd excited throughout the game.

The game started fast and never slowed down. Bossier used its controlled passing to keep the Saints off their game and kept them frustrated by getting to just about every loose ball. Seven minutes into the game, Bossier pushed the ball into St Louis’ box, and was able to finish for a 1-0 lead.

This did not deter the Saints, as they used some long passes to pressure the Bearkats’ back line, and with a couple uncommon Bossier mistakes, the Saints had a couple solid chances at goal. They just couldn’t connect that last pass or get off a clean shot. They did, however, use long inbound throws to get the ball into some dangerous positions.

Twenty minutes in, the Saints’ keeper came up with a fantastic save at point blank range. Even the home crowd applauded that effort. Unfortunately for St Louis, the lift they got from the save didn’t last, as Bossier was able to double the lead a minute later. Halftime came with the score 2-0 Bossier.

The Saints came out strong in the second half, putting immediate pressure on Bossier, including a couple solid shots at goal. Bossier absorbed the pressure, then took the ball methodically down the field in a string of over 10 passes, ending in a back-breaking goal that sent the home team up 3-0.

The Saints never gave up, never slowed down and never stopped working to get back into the game. Even when Bossier added a fourth goal, St. Louis kept coming, a true sign of a great program.

The player of the match had to be St. Louis keeper Junior Noah Ellender, who had numerous high-stress saves, and fought all the way to the end.

Oscar Alvarengo had two goals, with Felix Deras and David Rojas adding one each. Deras and Wilson Alvarado each had an assist, with two assists being credited to Yoany Reyes. Keeper Logan Bamberg came up big with six total saves, two of which were highlight-worthy.

Byrd’s Lady Jackets travelled to Lafayette Friday, fighting to a scoreless tie with Division I No. 6 Dominican (13-2-2). Saturday Byrd faced Division I No. 9 Mt. Carmel (15-5-2) and won 1-0 on Ellie Lawrence’s 25-yard free kick that went in the upper corner of the net.

Captain Shreve’s Lady Gators took a day trip Saturday to Sulphur to face Division III No. 4 St. Louis (10-6-3) and topped the Lady Saints 3-1. Brooklyn Lattier scored twice and Alex Knight had the other goal. Assists were credited to Emma Bradford, Ella Rossi and Knight.